“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with them. The people who give you their food, give you their heart.” - Cesar Chavez
For me, connections through food have always been an important part of my life. From standing on my grandmother’s dining room chair when I was just barely tall enough to see into the mixing bowl to gathering with friends sharing our time and stories with one another over dinner, connections have always made their way into my kitchen.
I don’t recall a time when my mother and father did not have a guest at the dinner table. My mother was one of the many women in my life who was known to “cook for an army!” Having conversations over food with family and friends was such an integral part of my upbringing.
I have noticed throughout my life that traditions get carried on through these gatherings by watching what others might add to their chili recipes, like carrots, or a special way one might prepare lasagna, such as layering the noodles and the cheese but keeping the red sauce separate and ladling over the dish when plating. These are the special moments and ideas we carry into our daily lives forever.
When spring rolls around, I get busy planting the garden then summer hits and all the plants are in full bloom. This is a pleasing time of year. My favorite is when the senses start to go wild for all that fresh basil! The more you pick, the more it grows, and what’s better to make with all that exploding basil than everyone’s summer favorite: pesto! My family loves a good basil pesto, and what I love more is a special pesto recipe I was lucky to enjoy over many summer meals with my best friend from high school.
Eventually, I was able to get my hands on this family recipe and it’s always been my go-to when making pesto for my own family and those I love! My friend learned this recipe from her stepmother and now it’s tradition for us both. We never go a full summer without a conversation about our love for this amazing recipe. She will send me a quick text simply stating, “We are having pesto tonight!” That always brings a smile to my face!
- 3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 4 garlic cloves
- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup salted almonds
- In food processor, mix basil, garlic, Parmesan, olive oil and salted almonds. Let sit 1 hour.
Hello everyone, my name is Natalie! I am a wife and a mother of two. I have a dog and his name is Winslow. I am a nature lover and spend a great deal of time paddling local lakes. My background is in education and currently I work in Special Education and love it! I am a Kansas native, but have traveled to many places around the globe. Food is the center of my many travels! Cooking is my passion and my desire is to share simple food creations with you. I like simple eats that pack flavor and are an easy fix for the everyday person. Wholesome cooking is important to me, and I enjoy showcasing casual recipes that involve staple foods.